For those avid readers of Sophie-Amelia, or pretty much just every person that I speak to – you will know of my constant battle and moaning of bloating and cramps.

After multiple trips to the doctors to only be diagnosed with IBS (the same diagnosis as pretty much everyone when they can’t find a reason…) I was so close to giving up. That was until a friend brought YorkTest to my attention.img_8634
Whilst this test is pricey, it’s a very in-depth test and seemed a hell of a lot easier than trying to second guess and cut out bread and milk half-heartedly in an attempt to reduce any bloating. I went for the Food and Drink test and opted for the premium package as it covered more of a variety of food and drink.

This test is a home-testing and was sent out to me straight away in the post. The test includes a box with all the kit in which is:
- x4 needles
- x2 test tubes and brushes
- marker pen for labelling
- sanitising wipes
- plasters for after the test
- full set of instructions

To carry out this test, simply follow the instructions which includes sanitising your hands, collecting a blood sample using a finger prick, and sending it off correctly. After I had filled up my x2 blood samples, I packaged it all back up and posted it off in the free returns postage bag.

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This test works by testing Immunoglobulin (IgG), a type of antibody. The way it was explained to me on the phone was, over time my body has built up an intolerance to certain levels of IgG in these foods, therefore by eliminating these food groups out (essentially having a detox), these levels will be lowered. Meaning that when I consume these foods again after a period of time, because of the lowered levels, the food shouldn’t trigger a reaction. (Sorry, I’m no scientist so this is the best way to explain it that made sense to me!) Whilst I’ve read lots of skeptical articles about these sorts of tests of the web, I decided to give it a go myself and see if it’s true!

Within a week, I received my test results by email, followed by a letter through the post with my results and information booklets. Once I had received these and digested the information, I booked a 30-minute consultation (included in the price), to discuss my test results and understand more about my new diet.

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My test results showed me that the main culprits were:
-Green tea (I usually drink about 5 cups of this a day…)
-Cow’s milk
-Yeast
-Prune
-Wheat
-Egg white
-Lamb

These were all highlighted in red which means that I have had a reaction to these foods and drinks. It was later explained to me that these are also in order of most reactive, meaning that green tea was the main offender, with lamb being the least. (and for those saying this only picks up stuff you eat regularly, I can't stand lamb so I've definitely not been eating this on a regular basis for it to show up in my blood).

Below these were the borderline culprits in yellow, which consisted of
-Pork
-Linseed
-Goat’s Milk
-Lentils

Whilst this was quite a lot to digest, and also instantly ruled out my favourite food (bye bye pizza), my consultation put my mind at rest.

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The nutritional therapist explained that cow’s milk and yeast are in a helllllll of a lot more things that I realised. She also explained that by eliminating these out of my diet for 12 weeks, that this would level out the IGG’s, meaning that I would no longer have a high intolerance to them – and could start fresh reintroducing one at a time to look out for any reactions. Best news ever.

I realised I have already messed up several times as I’ve been drinking lactose-free milk trying to be good, however realising that this still contains cow’s milk. I also raided the supermarket ‘Free from’ range so that I was eating gluten-free bread, cereals and biscuits to cut out wheat. It turns out, whilst going gluten-free does cut out the wheat – the yeast is still present.  I was also consuming egg free and milk free mayonnaise, which cuts out the egg and milk, but contains vinegar which contains yeast…so that’s also a no go.

Basically, yeast is in all my dressings, so I’ll have to stick to an olive oil or lemon dressing when It comes to my salads. Yeast is also in a hell of a lot of jar sauces, and most importantly…WINE. (This nearly killed me until she pointed out that Jacob’s Creek wine is fine to drink as this is distilled twice to remove the yeast - as shown in the below photo).

I’ve only been doing this a few weeks now and I’m not going to lie, it’s been reaaaally really hard and I still keep messing up when I think I’m being good. I think the key is just to eat plain, organic foods that I know exactly what is in it.

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I do have a holiday coming up in a few weeks, so I’ve not taken this too seriously just yet – however I have swapped my breakfast of eggs and cereal out for porridge and chocolate soy milk, swapped my mayo out in my salads for hummus, and swapped my saucy dinners for plain fish/chicken and vegetables. I’m making a start! (it’s also GREAT for my pre-holiday diet, hello bikini bod). I have snuck in a cheeky pizza though, let's be honest here...

As it’s so difficult to eat out at restaurants when trying to cut out these food groups, especially when abroad, I’m going to enjoy myself when I go on my holiday and eat and drink to my heart's content. However, when I return its strict 12-week dieting for Soph. I’ll be sure to report back the results in just over 12 weeks! (and also, how much I will enjoy pizza again).

Sophie Amelia

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